Social- Humans are social. We seek attention, whether it’s nurturing, assistance, approval, or answers. Social interaction is the primary way we learn throughout our lives, even if we have special needs. At Many : One, the approach is interest-based (i.e., incidental methodology and functional , meaning what effects do the client's behaviors have upon the environment and what effects do the environment have upon the client).
Milestones- When designing programs, developmental milestones established in widely accepted assessments and curricula (i.e., VB-MAPP, HELP, SCERTS, RDI) will be referenced to guarantee that meaningful developmental gains are made.
Interdisciplinary- While emphasizing the values of mutual respect and collaboration, programs are developed with a client's family and team of professionals. All programs recommended and implemented will be evidenced-based.
Learning- A bit of history…
Dr. Ivaar Lovaas’ (1987) research found that as a result of an intensive 30-40 hrs/wk ABA program, children with ASD learned behaviors resulting in their becoming indistinguishable, when observed from afar, from their typical peers.
IDEA (1975) The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was signed into law by Gerald Ford. IDEA’s most recent version (2011) makes it possible for children with diagnoses to receive early-intervention services (Part C) as an educational right. Lovaas’ (1987) research created inroads to establish that treatment resulting from the application of ABA's methodology resulted in positive outcomes for children with ASD and special needs. Despite this Federal mandate, no additional funding has been given to schools to meet this need.
ABA’s single-subject design research has continued to demonstrate positive outcomes for children with ASD, as a result of ABA treatment. ABA is now recognized as a form of medical treatment covered by some insurance providers.
There is a systemic misperception of what ABA is, as a result of the predominance of Discrete Trial Teaching and Task-Analysis programs being implemented as the sole methods to teach desirable behavior. Baer, Wolf, and Risley's 1968 paper is a classic in the ABA literature and defines some of the key dimensions of an ABA program. Other favorites which provide a broader context of ABA's philosophical rationale and/or experimental methodology are: Science of Consequences and Cognition, Creativity, and Behavior. Finally, Hart and Risley’s (1995) “Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children”, simply and with detail, reveals the effect parents speaking to their children has upon their child’s language development.
Evidenced-based- One of the characteristic features of an ABA program is the data-collection system. Meaningful measures and accurate data allow for constant evaluation of progress. Data allows for changes to be made if no progress is occurring. Data permits tweaks and provision of academic and behavioral supports to occur when and where necessary.
Science- First and foremost ABA is a science. It is driven by the evaluation of the constantly changing relationship between the individual and his/her environment. Evaluation is conducted on phenomena that can be observed and agreed upon. A human smile can be observed, as well as our eye contact, language, shoe tying, and eating chocolate cake.